Effective Ways On How To Lower Anxiety

By BetterHelp Editorial Team|Updated August 3, 2022

Life is full of several moments that could get us really anxious. You could be anxious when you are about to have a presentation or an interview, undergo surgery, make an important life decision, start at a new school, deliver a baby, or even experience travel anxiety and so on. We get anxious because we are somewhat afraid and may not know what to expect. We may be anxious as our body’s way of reacting to stress, alerting us of looming dangers and helping us get ready for the right response.

Could You Use Support Managing Your Anxiety?

It is quite normal to experience occasional anxiety. However, in a situation where one begins to have panic attacks, painful thoughts, and memories, nightmares that seem to get out of hand, there might be a mental health problem. When your feelings are extreme and begin to affect your life in any way, it may be an Anxiety disorder. If you are experiencing these things, it is not your fault at all. It is a mood disorder, and we will examine them shortly.

Types Of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are classified into some major types. They are Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Panic Disorder, and Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder). Some other classifications include Separation Anxiety Disorder, selective mutism, and Agoraphobia.

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by consistent worrying over everything daily. There is no apparent reason or trigger. It can cause a lot of physical manifestations.
  • A patient with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder may become anxious and agitated for not doing the compulsion (something done repetitively). The disorder makes people have distressing and recurring thoughts and obsessions that drive them to do their compulsions. It could become really terrible enough to disrupt work and daily life.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that develops after a traumatic experience. It could be after an accident, sexual abuse, etc.
  • Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder in which one is afraid of space, so places that may cause panic or embarrassment are avoided.
  • Selective mutism is a disorder, though rare, occurs in people, which makes them typically shy and avoid speaking. They are afraid of social judgment and any form of embarrassment.
  • Separation anxiety disorder is pretty commoner in children, but it is also found in adults. It is an anxiety disorder that makes one fearful or anxious when a close person leaves you.
  • Medication-induced anxiety disorder: It is a type of anxiety disorder whose symptoms are triggered by using certain drugs or sudden withdrawal from some medications.

Causes Of Anxiety Disorder

There are no known causes of anxiety disorders, but it has been reported that the interaction of factors contributes significantly to the disorder. These factors can be genetic, developmental, psychological, and environmental.


  • Genetic factors: family members could inherit genetic factors that predispose to anxiety disorder.
  • Environmental Factors: Stressful life situations, abuse or violence, disasters, and many other environmental stresses may cause anxiety disorders.
  • Psychological factors: If there are faulty connections in the brain areas responsible for emotions, anxiety could result.
  • Previous illnesses: Diseases involving the heart and thyroid may cause anxiety disorders. Also, previous or existing mental health conditions can predispose one to have anxiety disorders.
  • Substance abuse: Illicit use of drugs can alter pathways in the brain that regulate mood.

Anxiety Signs And Symptoms

A person with anxiety can manifest a lot of symptoms. The very common ones are feelings of fear, danger or doom, tense muscles, panic attacks, sweaty palms, fast breathing, restlessness, increased heart rate, fatigue, shaking, weakness, difficulty with sleep, shortness of breath, dry mouth,  dizziness, digestive system problems, difficulty in concentration, etc.

Anxiety Treatment

The treatment options for anxiety aim to reduce and manage the anxiety disorder symptoms. They include:

  • Medication: Some classes of drugs are used in managing anxiety disorders. Your physician knows which one is best for your anxiety. Drugs used for treating anxiety are antidepressants, anxiolytics, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, among others. Consult your healthcare provider before you commence any medication.
  • Psychotherapy: It is a type of counseling that aims to teach how emotions affect your behaviors.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: It is a common type of psychotherapy that teaches how to turn negative thoughts or behaviors into positive ones skillfully. The therapy also teaches ways to approach and deal with panic-causing situations without anxiety.

Effects Of Anxiety On You

A good measure of anxiety is needed by the body to react to stress and keep the body alert for immediate response to danger. However, an anxiety disorder will cause more harm to the body and your mental health. It can affect the respiratory system, cardiovascular system, digestive system, urinary system, and all other systems. Let us look at some of the effects on the body in the short-term and long-term.

  • Anxiety may make you feel lightheaded. Why? In normal levels of anxiety, the body reacts by increasing the heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate to get more blood to the brain. When this gets over the bar, you may begin to feel dizzy and nauseous also. If this happens consistently over some time, it can affect the brain adversely.
  • Anxiety over a long period is not pleasant on the heart. There is a higher likelihood of having high blood pressure, developing a stroke, or having a heart attack due to consistently increased heart rate.
  • In the urinary system, anxiety may increase micturition, the process of urinating. It is closely associated with persons with the phobia. Anxiety may make one lose control over the ability to urinate.

Proven Ways To Effectively Lower Anxiety

It is essential to manage anxiety and not let it get hold of our life. Therefore, we search for effective ways to reduce anxiety so that we can be more productive in our daily activities, family, work, and other areas. Here are some of the things we can do to lower stress.

  • Regular exercise reduces your chances of experiencing anxiety. It helps your body and your mental health too. It does this by helping you sleep well. When you sleep is of good quality, anxiety is beginning to lose the battle. Again, exercises help your body release chemicals that will improve your mood. It is very important to include a good exercise routine into your daily schedule.
  • Intake of good food and special teas has been shown to reduce anxiety.
  • Reduce the intake of caffeine drinks or food. Caffeine in plenty of doses can make us excessively anxious. Again, consuming alcohol in excess can have an adverse effect on you. It is best to stay away from excessive alcohol and smoking. Cigarette contains nicotine, and it can modify specific pathways in the brain that are associated with anxiety.
  • Another effective way to handle anxiety is to practice deep breathing exercises. Since anxiety is associated with shallow breathing, an intentional process of taking deep breaths can counter anxiety.
  • Aromatherapy has also been recommended to reduce anxiety. It is the use of aromatic medicinal and essential oils to enhance physical and mental health. The oils are used in different forms either directly or put in a diffuser or added to a warm bath. Examples are lavender, grapefruit, ylang-ylang, bergamot, eucalyptus, rosemary, etc. They are known to improve mood, help in relaxation, and help to sleep.
  • Relaxation and sleep are needed for lowering anxiety. It is important to manage stress properly. Therefore, deliberate relaxation techniques, such as meditation, can help manage stress and help you feel better.
  • Be mindful of the medications you take. It is best to avoid medications not prescribed. This is because of possible drug interactions that may worsen anxiety symptoms.
  • Learn to be more orderly by keeping a to-do list. Each day should be planned so that you will not be bombarded by thoughts that will prevent you from sleep.

Could You Use Support Managing Your Anxiety?

Conclusion

As much as it is quite normal to be anxious, sometimes, many people in the world are dealing with anxiety disorders. This article talks about ways to lower anxiety in your daily affair. These ways are effective, but they will never replace the help of professionals. If your anxiety is unnecessarily increasing, please seek help.

You can learn more about Anxiety and possible ways to effectively lower anxiety or pick up its symptoms early by checking out other articles on the subject. Should you have questions or clarifications on the subject or other related subjects, you can also schedule an appointment with competent mental health professionals at BetterHelp.

Helpful mental health resources delivered to your inbox
For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns
Speak with a Licensed Therapist
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.